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Posted: October 11, 2017

Coal mining focus of Montana meetings

The Kootenai River Network (KRN) is hosting two public meetings to discuss proposed and ongoing coal mining operations in the Elk River Valley, and the associated impacts on water quality in Montana.

The Flathead River north of Columbia Falls, Montana

The first meeting will be held in Eureka at the Eureka High School auditorium located at 340-9th Street on October 16 from 7-9 p.m. The second meeting will be held on October 17 in Kalispell at the Hilton Garden Inn in the Glacier Room II from 7-9 p.m. The Hilton Garden Inn is located at 1840 US Highway 93 South.

The KRN has assembled a panel of regional experts consisting of representatives from Montana Departments of Environmental Quality, Fish Wildlife & Parks, the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Teck Coal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. State Department, the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

During each of the two meetings, a moderator will ask the panel questions that include: identification the contaminants of concern and the source of them, a brief explanation of existing water quality laws and whether any of the U.S. laws have been broken, the impacts on Montana’s fishery resources, what plans are in place to limit future pollution, how Montanans can have a voice in the process, and what sources of information can the public utilize to obtain reliable information related to these topics.

At the end of the question period there will be an open discussion time for members of the audience to ask the panel questions.  After the meeting, there will be an open social time where panel members and the public can interact and talk one on one.

For more information about the Kootenai River Network

Lead image: Kootenai River wetlands north of Bonners Ferry, Idaho. Ian Cobb/e-KNOW file photo

Kootenai River Network

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